An Indiana mother has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty for beating her son dozens of times because she claimed “religious freedom.”
According to the Washington Post, Kin Park Thaing, a refugee from Burma, took advantage of the state’s new religious freedom law and used it as a defense after being charged with felony battery and neglect of a dependent.
After a teacher noticed dozens of bruises on the seven year old’s body in March, she notified police. Thaing insisted the charges be dismissed under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.
Prosecutors claimed it was the first time someone used the RFRA as a defense for child abuse since Gov. Mike Pence signed into law.
Thaing cited Proverb 23:13-14 as her Christian right to beat her child as punishment. According to investigators, she beat both her son and daughter with the coat hanger and then made them pray for forgiveness afterwards.
Although a Marion County judge refused to dismiss the case, he did allow her to plead guilty to a lesser charge.
She was sentenced to eight months of probation on Friday, and will have to take parenting classes in an effort to learn a more appropriate method of discipline.